Writing, Witnessing & Healing: A Community of Black Male Students Confronting Loss / Cassandra Lo.

Lo, Cassandra, author.
[Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]: University of Pennsylvania ; Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2018.
1 online resource (221 pages)
Contained In:
Dissertation Abstracts International 79-10A(E).

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Local subjects:
Language arts. (search)
Secondary education. (search)
Black studies. (search)
Gender studies. (search)
Reading, Writing, Literacy -- Penn dissertations. (search)
Penn dissertations -- Reading, Writing, Literacy. (search)
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Now more than ever, it is imperative that we provide spaces for our students to share and witness testimonies of trauma, specifically about losses that they may experience. With little room in the curriculum for these important avenues of expression, students are grieving in isolation without support. Black male students, who are often seen as "problems" or "trouble," are especially not provided with the spaces or moments necessary to understand and write about death experiences or impactful moments in their lives. With a theoretical framework derived from critical race theory, trauma studies and relational teaching, I argue that spaces for sharing and building communities of loss are critical for Black male students who are particularly deprived of these opportunities. The primary goal of this study was to improve the schooling experiences for Black male students who are grieving from trauma, especially the death of a family member, by examining what happens when they are provided with space to share their stories and witness others' testimonies. For this study, students at an all-boys' charter high school in a large Northeast city met weekly during the Spring 2017 semester to write and share about their lived experiences. This qualitative study employed research methods from the fields of practitioner inquiry and narrative inquiry. The findings from this study revealed that: 1. Certain pedagogies lend themselves to sharing written and spoken narratives about lost loved ones and critical witnessing and reciprocal witnessing are necessary parts of these student communities. 2. When faced with loss, the students sought support structures and experienced both positive and negative support from their families, peers and school staff. 3. There was a range of emotions, from anger to joy, when remembering through writing and speaking about their deceased family members. For students who experienced loss, especially those who are marginalized and silenced because of their identities, testimonials of trauma are necessary to share, but are often suppressed and not witnessed by others. This study acknowledges the affordances of a classroom where trauma narratives are shared and witnessed.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 79-10(E), Section: A.
Advisors: Ebony E. Thomas; Committee members: Elizabeth Dutro; Amy Stornaiuolo; Diane Waff.
Department: Reading, Writing, Literacy.
Ed.D. University of Pennsylvania 2018.
Local notes:
School code: 0175
Thomas, Ebony E., degree supervisor.
Waff, Diane, degree committee member.
Stornaiuolo, Amy, degree committee member.
Dutro, Elizabeth, degree committee member.
University of Pennsylvania. Reading, Writing, Literacy, degree granting institution.
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